Android/PHP/JQuery RESTful JSON MySQL Client-Server Overview

The title of this blog entry is quite a mouthful.  The purpose is to give a broad overview of the moving parts necessary to implement an application with client mobile and desktop devices that interact with a server database to alter and retrieve data.

I won't define all the classes, methods and acronyms on the graphic as they're easy to look up using an Internet search.  There are other choices that can be made for the details of the implementation, but this should provide a starting point for thinking through the necessary elements.

The communication vehicle for client-server interaction is typically the Internet Protocol Suite.

 

Smartphone Installations Will Soon Outnumber PCs

According to a new study by IDC, smartphone installations will soon outnumber those of PCs.  Not surprising, really, but we've lived in a PC dominant world for long enough that the shift seems monumental.

Chart: Worldwide Smart Connected Device Shipments, 2010-2016 (Unit Millions)Description: This data comes from IDC's WW Quarterly PC Tracker, WW Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, and WW Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker.Tags: Tracker, mobile phones, tablets, forecast, PCs, devices, consumer, IDC ...Author: IDCcharts powered by iCharts

 

Google Improving Mobile Ad Relevance

Non Relevant Ads 200px.png

Google has just announced improvements in mobile search advertising. (See the Google Blog post for more information.) Apps that incorporate search capabilities will see more relevant ads appearing on their screens.

To date, mobile ads appearing on smartphones have not been particularly relevant to the nature of the apps displaying them. In contrast, desktop search ads are highly relevant to the search terms used. So, for example, if I'm searching for information on bicycles, I'll see ads related to this topic.

Making mobile ads more targeted should improve ad click through rates and improve user satisfaction.

If I'm searching on my smartphone for bicycles, I'll see ads related to bicycles, including information on bicycle shops near my current location.

Mobile Internet Users to Outnumber Wireline Users by 2015

Smartphone with PC 1 225px.jpg

According to a new study by IDC, mobile internet access via smartphones and tablets will soon outpace wireline access via PCs and other fixed position devices. Mobile device use is growing rapidly and wireline use is expected to level off and then decline.

This is expected to alter the very nature of how the internet is used. Consider some characteristics of mobile devices that will contribute to this change:

  • Location sensing.
  • Touch screen.
  • Device mobility.
  • Always on status.
  • App centric user interface.

It looks like the shift from fixed to mobile devices may be every bit as significant as the historic shift from mainframes to PCs.

The Software Revolution

As software transforms industry after industry, it's becoming apparent that the world is transitioning to a software driven paradigm that won't be denied.

Manufacturing, entertainment, journalism, music ... they are just a few of the business domains that have been dramatically altered by the power of software.

Software often gives an order of magnitude or two advantage to the new businesses that fully leverage its capabilities.

Some of the effects on society are profound:

  • Radical lowering of costs.
  • Shifting of the demands of labor from the physical to the intellectual.
  • Increasing the rate of change.

What are some takeaways for businesses large and small?

  • Embrace the change ... don't fight it.
  • Try to get ahead of the curve instead of playing catch-up.
  • Develop an understanding of the latest new technologies, which are, today, things like smartphones, cloud computing and tablet computing.
  • Don't rely on yesterday's technology to carry the day. Witness the speed with which tablet computing is replacing PCs.
  • Give some of the latest technologies a try. Test them. See what they can do for you.

 

 

Generation Smartphone

Could this really follow Generation Y to become the name of the newest generation? Some think so.
 
According to a number of reports, the young are foregoing other media for the smartphone. They tend to always have their smartphones with them. They use them more than many would like. And they are changing the nature of social interaction.
 
Many are ditching their televisions, computers, iPods, cameras, maps and address books in favor of the combined convenience of smartphones.
 
Some see this, in part, as a serious addiction problem. The trend, however, seems irreversible.
 
The young have always been obsessed with communicating. It's understandable why a device with so many ways of communicating would be a big hit.

A New Paradigm in Public Relations

Just as it has in a growing number of industries, the Internet is transforming the field of public relations.

Here is some of what's happening:

  • The dividing line between marketing and PR is disappearing.
  • PR is providing more useful information for consumers.
  • New Internet focused PR companies are greatly lowering the cost of PR campaigns.
  • Internet based tools are making PR campaigns easier to develop and manage.
  • PR content is interacting with and feeding off of other content such as blogs, video, images, web sites and e-books.
  • It is becoming cost effective to focus PR campaigns on smaller, niche markets as well as big, broad markets.
  • Internet based PR is becoming a critical element in gaining search engine placement.

In short, an Internet based PR campaign is becoming an essential and growing part of selling products and services.  

Smartphone Apps for Android Tablets

There is speculation that an upcoming version of the Google Android platform (possibly 3.2) may have better options for displaying apps on tablets that are sized for smartphones.

Apps would have both stretch and zoom options. Zoom would be a new mode that would simulate a smartphone display and then fill the tablet screen with it.

The purpose is to give Android tablet users greater access to Android Market apps, the majority of which are designed for smartphone screens. Since smartphones greatly outnumber tablets, this seems to us to be a great idea. Some smartphone apps incorporate a mixture of screen size optimizations. For example, our QuickClick Locales series of apps use a smartphone sized screen for user query input and mapping function that is optimized for both smartphones and tablets. 

 

Re-tooling for the Information Age

The internet, web sites, smartphones, tablets, social networking, cloud computing ... the Information Age is getting into full swing. Just as the U.S. transitioned completely to the Industrial Age in the 1930's, we are now completing our move into the Information Age.
 
 
Whether as an individual or business, it will become increasingly difficult to compete without using Information Age tools and processes. Emerging markets, with their lower cost base, will take most of the remaining Industrial Age jobs and opportunities. Manufacturing in the U.S. won't disappear, but it too will have to adopt Information Age ways.
 
Some, often those of older generations, regret the popularity of new, fast paced tools such as social networking. It would be more productive to give them a try and leverage their value.
 
The rapid spread of smartphones is accelerating  the use of tools such as social networking. They offer a great way to take the plunge into a new world.

Ranking Sticky Apps

Apple and Google are changing the way they rank apps in their markets. Although the exact formulas are kept secret, there is talk and news that they are moving away from basing rankings on downloads and now using a formula based on the "sticky-ness" of apps.

The sticky formula is based on the ratio daily active users to monthly active users. So just getting users to download an app no longer gets a high rating. Users need to actually use an app to move it up in the ratings. Seems to make sense. After all, they are called "users" not "downloaders." 

Cloud Computing and Smartphones

The news is full of stories about interest in and growth of cloud computing ... relying on services hosted on servers owned, operated and maintained by others. Some get nervous about having their information located in places they don't control. The growth of smartphones should, however, accelerate the move to cloud computing and gradually ameliorate those fears.

Relying on cloud computing with a smartphone, or tablet, isn't an option. It's all controlled "in the clouds." Faster and more reliable networks will also help. Over time, whether computing is done on your device or in the cloud should become a somewhat meaningless distinction.

Android for Control of Real World Objects

Google has just announced a group of hardware and software platforms for using Android tablets and other devices to control real world objects. Developers are being invited to create applications for these platforms that could control anything from lighting to heavy duty equipment. Android@Home is part of the initiative and will let Android software apps discover, connect and communicate with devices in the home. Below is a photo of the hardware controller used to interface Android with objects.

Internet Advertising Revenues Show Strong Growth

PricewaterhouseCoopers released their Internet Advertising Revenue Report for 2010 (http://www.iab.net/media/file/IAB_Full_year_2010_0413_Final.pdf).
Growth is strong at 15 percent year over year.
 
From the report:
 
"Internet advertising revenues in the U.S. totaled $7.45 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of 15 percent from the 2010 third quarter total of $6.46 billion, and an increase of 19 percent from the 2009 fourth quarter total of $6.26 billion. 2010 full year Internet advertising revenues totaled $26.0 billion, up 15 percent from the $22.7 billion reported in 2009. Internet advertising revenues in the U.S. totaled$7.45 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of 15 percent from the 2010 third quarter total of $6.46 billion, and an increase of 19 percent from the 2009 fourth quarter total of $6.26 billion. 2010 full year Internet advertising revenues totaled $26.0billion, up 15 percent from the $22.7 billion reported in 2009."
 
You can view a webinar on the report here: view the webinar